Yeah, Titanic 2. It’s a thing that happened. Now first thing to get straight is that this isn’t a sequel to the James Cameron billion dollar cash cow Titanic. See it’s called Titanic 2 but it’s not Titanic 2. The boat is called the Titanic 2 and the film is named after the boat. That looks exactly like the Titanic, except with a 2 on the side of it. Apparently it’s also really high tech and fast on the inside though so that’s different. So what happens in this film? Well it’s made by The Asylum so it’s bound to be an original piece of film making I’m sure. If original meant being a blatant shameless cash in on something that is either currently or at some point quite popular.
So, for some reason I decided to watch this film tonight. I pretty much knew it was gonna be bad based on… well everything about it, but I attempted to watch with an open mind. Titanic 2 stars… and I use that term loosely, Shane Van Dyke (who also wrote and directed this feature), Bruce Davison and some woman called Marie Westbrook. Bruce Davison, as the cover of the dvd proudly exclaims, is the star of X-Men. Yeah, remember him being the star of that? You don’t? Weird. He was Senator Kelly, you know, the dude who was all anti-mutant and got turned into water. He was the star of that film apparently. Marie Westbrook you’d likely know from…. hold on, checking imdb… Well she was in the Ghost Whisperer a few times. I guess that’s something.
Now Shane Van Dyke deserves his own paragraph here. See like his grandfather Dick Van Dyke he’s becoming a bit of an entertainment jack of all trades. He acts, he writes, he directs, he does not a single one of those things well. He is an example of what happens when nepotism is allowed to run rampant. For those of you who have seen Diagnosis Murder (Starring grandfather Dick and father Barry, seeing a pattern) you might remember Shane as Alex Smith the young doctor in the latter few series. Or as Tommy Anders, or Jake Hallman, or Shane Marshall. See he played a total of 4 characters over the course of that shows run. Disturbingly that’s still one character less than Dick Van Dyke played in that show and he was the main character. Don’t believe me? Check out this episode. Get this though, Shane has inherited that same nepotism skill as this film has 2 small rolls for other random members of the ever expanding Van Dyke family and a thankyou to the whole family listed in the credits. Shane, I salute you for the great lengths you go to in order to keep your family in work. The certainly wouldn’t be doing thing without your help.
So, on with the plot. The film opens with some guy who doesn’t speak surfing in some arctic environment (later we kinda find out it’s off the coast of Greenland). A big old piece of 1990s CGI ice falls into the water and causes a wave for him to surf on. Radical dude. I should point out that you’d likely freeze to death surfing these waters but whatever. After hitting that one wave a bigger piece of ice breaks off and the ensuing tidal wave swallows him whole. That’s foreshadowing people! We see Bruce Davison sitting around being a coast guard monitoring things when he receives a call. Mystery is layered on by us not hearing what the person on the other end is saying but we’re led to believe it’s probably something to do with that ice slide. I guess he’s the go to guy for arctic goings on. We then cut straight to the titanic 2. Not even kidding. No build up, no background of it’s construction, no getting to know the passengers. Nothing. You just see i sitting there in dock. We meet two nurses Amy (played by Westbrook) and Kelly (played by some girl called Michelle Glaven, her first movie roll apparently. No shit), they are seemingly the only 2 nurses on board this vast vessel. Kelly then says an exceptionally well written line after being bumped into by a passenger. She say’s “I think I’d rather see these people drown than help them.”. Did you spot that? Yep more foreshadowing. Very subtle but it’s there.
Shane Van Dykes character Hayden then lands on the scene via a helicopter arm in arm with 3 women who we are introduced to via lingering shots of their breasts before we get to see their faces. Van Dyke is one gifted director. Van Dyke plays business industrialist Hayden Walsh and we learn that he and Amy used to be a couple after some random undefined event happened that caused them to split up. Best we find out is that he took Amy’s dad’s boat out and got punched by him. Her dad is James Maine, Bruce Davisons character. Check that out, it’s got one thing over Saw 7. An emotional tether between the 2 stages of the action to keep people invested in each characters stories. Well done Shane, well done.
We learn via a phone call from Amy’s father that the Titanic 2 was rushed through and barely passed safety inspections. A fact that means nothing to a giant iceberg and tidal wave and also seems to mean nothing to the story cos at no point does it’s shoddy build cause a problem. The engines fail later in the film but that’s due to them being new and getting pushed too hard. So regardless the Titanic 2 sets sail. No idea where too. Pretty sure they missed that but they’re heading East and I guess towards colder waters seeing as they go on about how cold it’ll be later. Let us say they’re heading to Iceland. The country, not the supermarket.
Amy’s father has gone to Greenland and arrives just in time to get a chance to run away from a glacier collapse the size of which has never been seen. This causes a Tsunami which is headed out to the ocean. Now, as they note in the film, Tsunamis only form properly near land but they drag stuff with them under the water, in this case all the ice from the glacier. Remember that, it’s important later. Whilst running away from the falling glacier a member of the research crew he’s visiting falls to his death. No-one see’s this happen but they still just jump in a chopper and fly away. Jerks.
So this mass of ice is heading underwater out to sea right where the Titanic 2 is. The warning get’s put out to them to return to dock and they’re told to head West back to dock. Now did you notice I said they were heading East earlier? See near the start of the film we are told that the SS Titanic 2 is heading on the same route the original Titanic did exactly 100 years before (yes this is set in 2012). If it was on the same route surely they would be heading West already as they surely would have just left Southampton. Except this glacier dropped in Greenland which is like 2000Km away from Southampton. Plus you can see the statue of Liberty in the background while it’s in dock. So is the USS Titanic 2 going backwards? Wait… did you spot that? I said SS Titanic 2 earlier and now I called it the USS Titanic 2. What’s the right answer? Cos they use both during the film, like 2 scenes apart at one point. Well the answer is neither because as a US vessel it would be the MS Titanic 2. Yes I looked that up because it bugged me so much. Believe em this is just one of a massive number of mistakes this film makes. I’ll mention a few as we go on.
So as you can probably tell they get struck by a iceberg after their engine cuts out and they come to a full instant stop and start drifting (Impossible by the way). Remember I mentioned the ice was underwater and the Tsunami wave wouldn’t hit them. Guess what happens. Yup, a giant wave turns up carrying a massive ice berg which twats the ship right on it’s side. I didn’t even get one paragraph away from the last mistake. Jesus! So the boat starts sinking and they start evacuating people (Women and children first of course) to the lifeboats via the elevators. Cos that’s the safest thing to do when the power on the boat could go out at any minutes and it’s gradually capsizing.
Speaking of capsizing, the boat is sinking to the starboard bow. Yet as the film goes on the interior is largely still straight and there’s a few times where it seems to be sinking in a different direction. At one point we see a guy falling from the Stern side of the ship, but that side is raised at this point so how did he fall over the railing? We don’t see him fall over it. We just see him falling. Plus he’s the only guy falling. I assume he jumped because swimming in arctic waters is far preferable to being in this movie.
So it turns out that the glacier breaking off has caused some mini quakes which is causing an even bigger Tsunami to head towards them. I guess the Tsunamis stay above deep water now. As you can guess it hits the Titanic 2 and capsizes it. I should mention inbetween the second Tsunami starting up and hitting them Hayden has developed the ability to teleport.
There’s a sequence where Hayden and Amy have rescued their friend Kelly from the medical room where they found her trapped under a cabinet of some kind with an open wound. Amy uses all the tools at her disposal in this medical supply room to stop the bleed. By which I mean she selotapes a credit card to the wound. Rather than use anything in this medical supply room. Anyway they get into a lift which surprise surprise stops working just in time for daddy to call and give Amy advice on where to go to be safe. Hayden uses an axe that’s in the lift, why it’s there I have no idea, to knock open a panel on the top so they can climb out. they head up a ladder, which should be sideways by now but nevermind, and they head up in this order… Kelly, Amy, Hayden. They then exit a door higher up, which they struggle to pull themselves through because of the angle it’s at, in this order… Hayden, Kelly, Amy. They then stand up straight. So many things wrong with that 30 seconds of filming that the only way I can explain it is that Hayden gains the skill of teleportation.
They then reach a door that is jammed for some reason, like we care anymore, and Hayden must use his axe and manly arms to get the door to hold open while Amy squeezes through. Except she’s apparently too fat to fit through the gap. the axe starts to break so Hayden tells Kelly to pull Amy back, she pushes her through instead and gets crushed by the door and by some terrible editing. Hayden then teleports through to the other side. He reassures Amy that she did all she could for her dead friend. Cos all she could do was get in the way and cause Kelly to get squished.
So they get to the dive room they were told to go to and what do you know there’s only one diving suit and breathing apparatus. the tidal wave hits after we get to briefly see Amy get undressed to put on the wetsuit, they jump into a tardis like locker (it’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside) and they get trapped by an empty shelf that’s wedged against it. Daddy arrives and dives in to the boat to find them, a task made manageable by a tracking device on the wetsuit. Hayden goes through a series of flimsy reasons why he can’t use her oxygen tank so we can have him freeze and drown like Jack did in Cameron’s film and Bruce Davison comes to the rescue and drags them onto the life raft they had chucked out of the recently crashed helicopter. It ran out of fuel and for some reason had to crash. See I get that it crashed because of the lack of fuel, I just don’t get why it had to crash for the story.
Anyway, Amy, her dad and the frozen body of Hayden get onto the raft which they find by following a rope Amy’s dad took with him to help him find his way back in the dark of the night. Except while on the raft it’s quite clearly daylight outside. And then the next shot shows it’s still dark and the suns just coming up. Hayden can’t be revived, that was his plan, to let himself freeze so they could revive him. God! And thankfully the film ends.
This is a horrible film. The fact this is the longest review of the ones I’ve done so far is testament to just how much awful there is on display. It’s full of mistakes, it’s shot and edited incompetently, tension seems to be handled by constantly attempting to top the previous bit of danger but only on the outside of the boat. On the inside everyone does dumb things like use lifts on a sinking ship, head to the bottom of the boat, use credit cards to heal wounds in a medical supply room… There’s so many more. Nothing makes sense with their idea of geology and geography. Characters are written as though they were a first draft with no attempt to expand who they are. There’s no story to any of the passengers. In fact in a few scenes the passengers are quite clearly just people wondering around some museum boat that they filmed. There’s interiors on the boat that are quite clearly the interiors of a building, you even see a map of the building on the wall next to one of the lifts. The whole film is stupid, lazy and a prime example of the state of viewers tastes.
Yes, I’m blaming the viewers for this. Asylum rely on people not knowing what they’re buying. they make films like Snakes On A Train, Transmorphers, Paranormal Entity and Street Racer to cash in on whatever is currently popular. And it keeps working. They make a mint off these low budget terrible films and worse yet they keep Shane Van Dyke in work. You can see throughout the film in every scene he’s in that Bruce Davison feels like he’s dying inside from being in this. The guy is a decent actor and he knows full well that he’s above this sort of tripe. These films appeal to people who are too dumb to demand quality from their entertainment. They’re happy to sit back and watch copies of things that were once popular. They like bland nobodies covering once popular songs by much better artists. They like the 7th entry in the Saw franchise because it is well gory innit. The worst part is they seem to be becoming the minority. They are the ill educated masses who seem to believe that if you have to think it’s bad for you. They seem to think that it’s much better to have the cheaper alternative than the real thing. Maybe one day people will demand better of what they use to entertain themselves with. Until then, there’s always gonna be The Asylum and the Van Dyke family to cater to their needs.
Except Dick Vand Dyke, he’s awesome.